[ ih-lis-it ]
/ ɪˈlɪs ɪt /


not legally permitted or authorized; unlicensed; unlawful.
disapproved of or not permitted for moral or ethical reasons.

Origin of illicit

From the Latin word illicitus, dating back to 1645–55. See il-2, licit

Related forms

il·lic·it·ly, adverbil·lic·it·ness, noun

Can be confused

elicit illicitillegal illicit (see synonym study at illegal) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for illicitness


/ (ɪˈlɪsɪt) /


another word for illegal
not allowed or approved by common custom, rule, or standardillicit sexual relations

Derived Forms

illicitly, adverbillicitness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012